Open Meeting Reports 1999

NEWBIGGEN SC - SILVER TILLER/Cock of the North, 21st. June
EARLSWOOD LAKE SC - Midland Circuit, 6th. June

RAGLEY SC - Midland Circuit Open, 16th. May

UPPER THAMES SC - OPEN, 10,11th April

HAMBLE SC - WARMING PAN, 20-21st March.



MERLIN ROCKET - Silver Tiller/Cock of the North - Newbiggen by the Sea. 20/21 June

Overall Positions :-
1st. 3471, Dan & Ben Alsop, BCYC
2nd. 3442, Davo & Mrs Scott, Shustoke SC
3rd. 3505, Peter Scott & Jennie King, Shustoke SC
4th. 3533, Richard Varely & Andrew Thompson, Newbiggen SC
5th. 3316, Brian Cobb & Emma, Welland SC

BOLTON SC - Silver Tiller, 13th June

'Race against time & tide!!' Visiting crews expecting the stable conditions of pondie sailors home waters found themselves fighting to complete the series before the water ran out as the host clubs landlord drained their reservoir for remedial work. Perhaps fearing it would never return, Class Champions and winners for the past 5 years on the trot of the Belmont basket, staked their claim again although this year they were forced to work harder to keep at bay challenging clubmates from Hollingworth.

Race officers were tested to optimize the shrinking lake as the morning race got under way in a light Nw breeze and it seemed deja vue as Whitworth led home Heginbotham (with flyweight crew) and Hollingworths domination of the first six places was only broken by Blackpool's Chris Howarth and Mike Hamilton. Tragically Richard Varley who had trekked from Newbiggin suffered a broken rudder after finding emerging shoals.

The afternoon brought a freshening and backing breeze with noy only exciting planing but a new winner in Julian Parry with his spanking new Winder Canterbury Tales and 15 year old crew. The ascendancy of the Hollingworth fleet was interupted by Chris Aubrey with a GP14 helm as crew, and even he was sailing a boat borrowed from Hollingworth.

All to sail for in the last race but Whitworth brooked no quarter and commanded from start to finish.
Roy Axford

Overall Results:-
1st. Richard Whitworth
2nd. Julian Parry
3rd. Nick Heginbotham
4th. Stuart Bates
5th. Chris Aubrey
6th. Steve Essex
All from Hollingwoth Lake SC

EARLSWOOD LAKE SC - Midland Circuit, 6th June

Overall Results:-
1st. 3202, Dave Fowler
2nd. 3491, Andy & Chris Bownes
3rd. 3442, Davo & Mrs Scott

STARCROSS YC - Silver Tiller, 22/23 May

Starcross YC hold its first ever Merlin Rocket open meeting. The forecast gale force winds probably affected the number of entries, but fourteen boats turned out, including seven Starcross Merlins.

Saturday's races were held in a strong westerly breeze, which gave gusty conditions with plenty of shifts. Despite the difficult conditions, race officer Andy Woolner succeeded in laying a reasonable course with several fast and exciting reaches. The strong gusts led to many sailors taking a swim, including several well known Merlin helms. However, Will Rainey revelled in the awkward conditions and broke clear in both races to build an unassailable lead.

For the Sunday Silver Tiller races, the wind maintained its fickle westerly direction, but moderated to leave only a light breeze. Phil King easily cleared the rest of the fleet to win both races, leaving astern a frenzy of place changing in which most of the modern carbon rigged, flat bottomed boats struggled to find any advantage over their older peers. At some points on the course the whole fleet bunched up together, and the finish in the last race was unusual as a very large portion of the fleet finished within one minute of each other.

1st. Phil King & Kevin Driver (Bowmoor SC)
2nd. Will Rainey & Liese Ward (Cookham Reach)
3rd. Paul Davies & Mrs Scott (Shustoke)

THORPE BAY SC - Silver Tiller, 15/16th May

Saturday morning, grey skies and a light breeze from somewhere north of Holland wafted over the Essex mud. Fifty per cent of the Essex boats greeted the Kent entourage, a fleet featuring a rather subdued Mark Barnes, the uncanny Phil Emery and the new man on the block, Tudor Owen.

By the time the flags dropped the wind was 15 knots and the sea a tadge lumpy. Mr Barnes crewed by Jane Beaumont set the pace right from the start beating against the incoming tide, closely followed by Phil Emery and Dave Hawkins with Messrs. Jackson and Wigg in close attendance. However the sun bursting through the braking cloud took Jacko by surprise and saw the pair going slowly, but with great confidence, to take the wet salty stuff - not really to be seen again!! Third place went to Ian Little crewed by Rick Stowbard - Tina Little saving herself for Sunday.

Race 2. Again a spanking good yacht with Mark and Jane well on top of requirements, followed by Phil & Dave and returning from the dead Jacko and Wiggy.

Sunday saw the fleet rise to 16 boats from as far away as Parkstone, Cookham Reach, Shoreham and British Airways. At the start the wind of 10 - 12 knots saw Mark and Jane chomping up the first beat, rounding the top mark with a good lead from Duncan Salmon and Ian Garwood, who were not to be caught. Finishing in third place a Merlin star player, Will Rainey crewed by another star, Jill Hague, who used to hold the Batt for a different team. Good to see you in the front again.

The fourth race was a good one.Duncan and Ian led but lost it to Simon & Jilly Blake on the beat. Judith Massey and Julian Brady (also returning from a long lay off - good to see you too) had a stonking good run to gain second place with Will & Jill pipping Mark & Jane for third.

With Silver Tiller points up for grabs the start of the last race saw a recall following rafting on the Committee boat and disqualification's. The main players amazingly escaped the hoohaa and Mark & Jane saw off the competition to win the Silver Tiller and the ST points. A truly splendid weekend hosted in the best possible taste thanks to the team at Thorpe Bay YC

Overall Result:-
1st. Mark Barnes & Jane Beaumont, Whitstable
2nd. Judith Massey & Julian Brady, Parkstone
3rd. Duncan Salmon & Ian Garwood, Wembley
4th. Will Rainey & Jill Hague, Cookham Reach
5th. Simon & Jilly Blake, Cookham Reach
6th. Alan Warren & Ben Cooper, Shoreham

Ragley SC - Midland Circuit Series 16th. May

Overall Result from 12 entries:-
1st. Paul Hollis
2nd. John Bingham
3rd. Barry Grubb
4th. Tom Davies

Abersoch SC - Silver Tiller. 15/16th. May

Glorious sunshine and a force 4-5 greeted the 14 starters in the Saturday race. A new heavyweight team of ex-chairmen Peter Scott and Peter Richard's, showing there is still a place for 28 stone in a Merlin, took an early upwind lead but then proved what may be good upwind is dog slow down as current National Champions Richard Whitworth and Sally Townend flew past before the leeward mark. Scott's upwind performance was good enough to regain the lead on the next beat but he again succumbed on the run to eventually finish second to Whitworth with Steve Crook and Andy Smith an easy third.

Sunday brought similar conditions with slightly less wind, forecast to drop later. The early start was postponed for 30 minutes to allow the fleet to get out of bed following an extensive BBQ hosted by the Crook / Smith party. Again Crook, Scott and Whitworth showed good speed up the first beat to lead in that order at the windward mark. By the end of the next round in moderating breeze Whitworth moved up to second and eventually won with Crook second. Dave Townend with Mark Bailey sailed into third leaving Scott fourth.

Crook and Smith took an early lead in the next race and were never headed. In the lighter conditions other Hollingworth boats started to make their marks. Nick Heginbotham (aka Boris) and Stuart Bithell ( youngest competitor) pulled through to second with Bruce Mager and Tass Greenhalgh (oldest competitor) third. Whitworth could only recover up to fourth.

The final result would depend on the last race with Boris and Stuart leading at the first mark, Crook was second with Whitworth third. Whitworth pulled out all the stops and wriggled through to first showing exceptional downwind speed. Crooks third place was good enough for second overall with Boris's second sufficient to place him ahead of Scott and Richards who preferred an early Guinness rather than watch the water pouring in through the transom flaps!!

Overall Results:-
1st. 3512, Richard Whitworth & Sally Townend, HLSC
2nd. 3449, Steve Crook & Andy Smith, HLSC
3rd. 3513, Boris & Stuart Bithell, HLSC
4th. 3505, Peter Scott & Stumpy Richrds, Shustoke SC
5th. 3530, Dave Townned & Mark Bailey, HLSC
6th. 3516, Bruce Mager & Tass Greenhalgh. HLSC
7th. 3442, Davo & Marjorie Scott, Shustoke SC


Hampton Sailing Club hosted an open meeting on 9th May; this was both part of the Silver Tiller series and also the 4th race of the Thames River series. The trophy for this has been donated by Graham Donald, whose death has so recently been announced, to encourage Merlin sailing on the Thames. He would have been delighted to see 28 boats competing: 14 from Hampton and visitors from Tamesis, Wembley, Cookham Reach, Parkstone and Cam.

The weather was fine, mainly sunny, with wind F2-3, swinging gradually from south to south-east through the day. With this number of boats sailing, the fleet was divided into four flights, being sent off two flights at a time to avoid too much mayhem at the start.

The first race had the blue and green fleet sent off first. Pat and Jill Blake's initial lead was overturned by first Maurice Cleal and Tim Uneman, then Duncan Salmon and Ian Garwood, coming through to win on the last two laps. Meanwhile the yellow and red fleet had a shock as "Pink Boat" (it was) rounded in first place. Rescued from a bonfire recently and fitted with a decent set of second-hand sails, it shows what can be done. At least two Hmpton members have owned this boat in a previous incarnation as Scapegoat, lacking the garish paint job that Graham blamed his father for. Graham Hughes and Sally Dean unfortunately slipped back to 3rd as John Bell and Graham Williamson stormed through to win.

After lunch the wind had swung round to make the reach downstream even more difficult under spinnaker. Green and yellow were away first with Pat and Jill Blake leading from start to finish, with Pink Boat right behind them. Blue and red were again shown the way round by Bell and Williamson, with Hywel and Tom Bowen-Perkins second.

After a brief but civilised tea-break (this is river sailing: we take our creature comforts seriously) the blue and yellow fleet led off. This heat was won by Salmon and Garwood again, once they got past Mark Candelas. The blue and red fleet were led from start to finish by Bell, whose perfect score of three firsts gave him the meeting.

For those that study such things, a few sacred cows were slain at this meeting. The Merlin is an expensive class to sail, except for the 7th and 9th placed boats that cost under £400. The Canterbury Tales design and variants are no good for river sailing, only getting 1st, 2nd and 3rd. Also notable were the number of people sailing with other family members, 8 out of the 28. The Bowen-Perkins family were also responsible for getting 4 boats on the water. Is this a record?

Finally, as an example of the lengths to which Hampton members will go to help their fellow sailors, we must include the tale of Martin Evans. Having got to the club in really good time and floated his boat across he found he was without a boom. No problem; within minutes one had been produced from the store of old Merlin stuff kept by Rob Heath, and the smile was back on Martin's face.

Overall Results:-
1st. 3517 John Bell and Graham Williamson
2nd. 3518 Duncan Salmon and Ian Garwood
3rd. 3506 Pat and Jill Blake
4th. 3347 Hywel and Tom Bowen-Perkins
5th. 3520 Maurice Cleal and Tim Uneman
6th. 3545 Mark Candelas and Martin Thompson

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Cookham Reach SC - THAMES RIVER SERIES. 19th. April

The Merlin Rocket "River Series" moved to Cookham Reach on Sunday 19th April to experience classic river conditions that produced interesting results with Tamesis taking the club honours. The fleet of 22 entries had very light wind conditions with the occasional force 4 blasts and 180o wind shifts!

The racing was organised into flights with the first pair of starts in very light conditions which developed into a marathon with many place changes and a number of incidents. Honours were taken by John Harris in his 39 year old boat Passing Cloud and Graham Hughes in his relatively modern 34 year old boat!

The second race again started in very light conditions with the wind strengthening to a force four during the last leg of this shortened races. This brief surge of wind highlighted the boat speed advantage of the newer designs with Simon Blake surging from 3rd to first place in the last 400 yards and Phil Plumtree winning the second flight.

The final race again saw the wind drop and shift producing a series of fetches up and down the river making place changing difficult and mark rounding a tactical opportunity. A strong stream forced the fleet to hug the bank with frequent groundings plus collisions with trees and fishermen. With the wind falling, again Phil Plumtree showed his consistent form to win the first flight with Andrew Harris taking the second.

The overall results were very close with Phil Plumtree and Catherine White from Tamesis in 1631 Splatter taking overall honours, John Harris and Colin Stokes from Ranelagh in 1079 Passing Cloud second and Andrew Harris and Rob Wilder from Tamesis in 3296 Seventh Heaven third. This result, as have all the Merlin River Series, demonstrates how the narrow, older Merlin designs can still be raced competitively in the tricky river/inland conditions.
Andy Jones.

Overall Results from 22 entries:-
1st. Splatter, 1631, Phil Plumtree, Tamesis SC
2nd. Passing Cloud, 1079, John Harris, Tamesis SC
3rd. Seventh Heaven, 3296, Andrew Harris, Tamesis SC
4th. Smartypants, 3506, Simon Blake, Cookham SC
5th. My Fair Lady, G. Hughes, 1849, Tamesis
6th. Tumbling Dice, M. Evans, 2633, Cookham


Overall Results from 33 entries:-

1st, Richard Whitworth & Sally Townend, Hollingworth Lake SC
2nd, Mike Calvert & Jennie King, Weymouth SC
3rd, Will Rainey & Liese Ward, Cookham Reach SC
4th, Paul Davies & Marjorie Scott, Shustoke SC
5th, Duncan Salmon & Liam, Wembley SC
6th, Steve & Ally Tyler, Parkstone YC


Overall Results, 35 entries:-
1. 3549, Unfinished B'ness, Mike Calvert & Jane Calvert
2. 3471, Savage(W), Dan Alsop & Robbie Sampson
3. 3506, Smarty Pants(W), Simon Blake & Jill Blake
4. 3512, Flying Cloud(B), Richard Whitworth & Sally Townend
5. 3539, Gangsta Paradise(W), Phil King & Kevin Driver
6. 3513, Sticky Fingers, Nick Heginbotham & Stuart Bithell
7. 3501, Empi, Judith Massey and Graham Williamson
8. 3442, Armed Forces, Mrs Marjorie Scott and Paul Davies

1998 was the first year Salcombe hosted a Silver Tiller meeting and the event proved a great success, and this year was no exception with the number of entries swelling to 35 boats. Several competitors decided to make a long weekend of the event which was clearly demonstrated by the sight of 20 or so rigged Merlins sitting in Batson Creek car park at 7 pm Friday evening !!!! All those who arrived on the Friday had a splendid evening in the various favourite watering holes of the town. It was quite easy to tell who had arrived in Salcombe the earliest on the Friday by the clarity of their speech in the pub. Needless to say the “Hollingworth Mob” were slurring the most, having paid their first pit stop at the Ferry Pub at 1.02 pm !!!!!

Competitors were greeted on Saturday morning with a very overcast sky, drizzle and lots of wind !!! Given that the race did not start until 2.20 pm most people spent the time constructively, either shopping or fine tuning their boats. However there were one or two notable exceptions including Madam Secretary who was seen consuming four pints of Bass in the Fortythingy before the race had even begun !!!!!

As advertised, the race started promptly at 2.20 pm which was 10 minutes before the club race start. The first leg was a beat up to Blackstone with the conditions being best described as AWFUL. The wind varied between none existent and gusts of force 4 to 5 which made progress upwind treacherous. First leg casualties included Pat Blake capsizing to windward on the start line, and others (such as John Milner and Steve Tyler) simply getting blown in by the ferocity of the gusts.

Having rounded Blackstone, the competitors then had to zoom down to Gerston via a port rounding of Crossways. Unfortunately the gusts that claimed victims on the first beat continued to cause havoc on the run and some very spectular capsizes ensued. A number of “Star Performers” were caught out including the King/Driver and Alsop/Sampson combinations. Nick “Boris” Hegginbotham tested a new downwind technique of letting the shroud coarse adjuster off, but found this particularly slow because the mast was so far forward the spinnaker dragged in the water !!!!

With the blast to Gerston completed the race settled into a consistent rhythm with place changes at the sharp end being few and far between. The race was finally won by Mr and Mrs Calvert after Whitworth and Townend decided it was time to wash their boat (ie they went plop !!). Special mention should be made of Boris who staged a remarkable come back to 4th after his earlier dramas, with his new 13 year crew Stuart who weighs about 4 stone !!!

King and Driver, the Salcombe Masters, surprisingly finished in 8th place and compounded their misery by ripping the mainsail on one of the sign posts in the estuary on the way back to Batson - very amusing !!!! Perhaps old age is finally taking its toll on the great man and he is losing his touch - a different winner in July 1999 ??????? Or could it be that Kevin Driver, the highly tuned athlete he is, had four pints the night before in Exeter ?????

The Club hosted a supper on the Saturday evening with excellent food and drink enjoyed by all those who attended. Over 90 people attended the supper which again demonstrates the popularity of the event and thank you to the Club for looking after everybody so efficiently.

The forecast for Sunday morning was anything up to force 8 but fortunately for the competitors, the strong winds did not arrive until after the race was completed. The conditions on Sunday were absolutely superb and all sailors were treated to an excellent sail. The King/Driver combination made the early going but were pursued (and sometimes overtaken) all the way by the Calvert team. Two blasts to Gerston were completed and now it was a dash to the line with the tide streaming in to the estuary.

Unfortunately for the competitors, the Mill Bay shore was dominated by fishermen who seem determined to cast their lines half way across the estuary. A number of Merlins were “caught” including Mark Barnes and Judith Massey to name a few. On the dash to the line King decided to hug the Mill Bay shore with Calvert coming over to the town side. It was all nail biting stuff with Calvert finally taking the win by half a boat length. The racing was very tight and competitive with the next 15 or so boats finishing within 5 minutes of the leading boat.

UPPER THAMES - OPEN. 10,11th April

Despite the counter-attractions of a Silver Tiller meeting at Salcombe, Upper Thames held a very successful Merlin meeting on the weekend of 10-11th April, attracting 24 entries from a number of clubs including Wembley, Tamesis, Cam and Cookham Reach.

Winds throughout the weekend were moderate to fresh westerlies, an ideal direction for the reach. Sunday's racing counted as the second meeting for the new River Thames Circuit.

On Saturday, racing was for the Spade Oak Bowl and the fleet (of eight boats) was mainly composed of local boats. From the gun, Graham Pearce and Truda Rathbone in "Abstraction", Terry Curtis and Jo Burnham in "Riot" and Alan and Sue Markham in "Shindig" were locked in combat. All three boats led at some time in the race but an excellent final beat and run meant that the Curtis/Burnham team were winners, followed by the Markhams and Pearce/Rathbone. Plonker of the day award went to Chris Rathbone who forgot that the Race Officer was using an angled start line--rather embarrassing considering that he had discussed the merits of an angled line with said Race Officer a few minutes earlier!

On Sunday, the fleet of 24 was dividend into flights and enjoyed close racing in freshing winds. A strong contingent had arrived from Wembley and seemed to revel in the prevailing conditions. In the first flight, Duncan Salmon and Ian Garwood won from Tony and Louise Johnson and in the second flight, Maurice Cleal and Tim Wienmann won from Colin Brockbank and "Mad Dog" Hughes.

The second race (first flight) resulted in another win for Salmon who beat Cleal and int the second flight, Brockbank won from Johnson. In the third, race, Salmon stormed away for his third win (and the meeting) from A.Harris and Cleal won the second flight from Brockbank.

All in all a great meeting without a single general recall or protest--- is the fleet losing the plot?!!! The number of entries suggests that the concept of the River Circuit has a future and it is noteworthy that a number of narrow Merlins took part and were not outclassed by the modern designs. Indeed, Merlin 1631 counted a third and two fourth places, finishing in 7th place overall.

Spade Oak Bowl Results:-
1st. Riot, Terry Curtis & Jo Burnham (Upper Thames SC)
2nd. Shindig, Alan & Sue Markham (Upper Thames SC)
3rd. Abstraction, Graham Pearce & Truda Rathbone (Upper Thames SC)

Allen Challenge Cup Results:-
1st. Smoked Salmon, Duncan Salmon & Ian Garwood (Wembley SC)
2nd. Seveneye, Maurice Cleal & Tim Winemann (Wembley SC)
3rd. An Bradau Feasa, Colin Brockbank & Martin "Mad Dog" Hughes (Perth/Wembley SC)
4th. She's a Cracker, Tony & Louise Johnson (Cam SC)
5th. Seventh Heaven, Andy Harris & Rob Wilder (Tamesis SC)


As the fleet rigged in the bright sunshine the onshore breeze was slowly increasing which promised an inetresting days racing. Dan Alsop crewed by Robbie Sampson were first to show and after dour battle with Richard Whitworth and Sally Townend managed to sneak home first.
The onshore breeze and proximity of the dam made launching difficult for the majority using fixed rudders. Regretably the OD did not allow sufficient time for the fleet to all get afloat before starting the race which resulted in the fleet wandering through the start line in dribs and drabs. At the front Alsop again took the lead doing battle with Duncan Salmon, Mike Calvert and the ever present Whitworth. The increased wind strength ( force 4 - 6) and extremely variable direction made the sailing very hard work and resulted in a number of capsizes - most notably from Whitworth!! Alsop first, Salmon second and Calvert third.
For the final race after lunch the fleet were over anxious and a general recall ensued. Unfortunately the OD failed to match the sound signals with any flags which caused chaos with half the fleet 'starting' and the other half waiting for the flags. In the event after half a lap the race was abandoned and restarted. Whitworth took a handsome lead but was unfortunately disqualified for being over on the re-start. Alsop battled with Calvert who did enough to take second overall and who with the rest of the now tired and depleted fleet were subjected to a couple more laps than was really necessary.
An extraordinarily tough days sailing.

Overall Results:-
1st. 3471, Dan Alsop & Robbie Sampsom, BCYC
2nd. 3549, Mike & Jane Clavert, Weymouth
3rd. 3512, Richard Whitworth & Sally Townend, HLSC
4th. 3546, Will Rainey & Liese Ward, Cookham Reach
5th. 3518, Duncan Salmon & Ian Garwood, Wembley
6th. 3442, Davo & Marjorie Scott, Shustoke
7th. 3505, Peter Scott & Stuart Hydon, Shustoke

HAMBLE SC - WARMING PAN, 20/21st March

Attended by nine Merlin Rockets and sailed in mixed conditions over the weekend. Saturday's two races, up and down the River Hamble, tested the competitors with fickle breezes and plenty of tide. The early sunshine gave way to cooler, fresher conditions during the afternoon and saw Alsop and Calvert take a win a-piece.
On Sunday, the forecast stronger airs came through. The River seemed quite benign until tried then unsuspecting gusts caused a few surprises. Outside the River, in a choppy sea the conditions were unsteady and several Merlins inspected their bottoms after experiencing windward capsizes on a broad reach. With many a story to tell, Calvert snatched a second victory and laid claim to the Warming Pan.

Overall results
1. 3549 Mike Calvert & Jennie King, Weymouth
2. 3471 Dan Alsop & Robbie Sampson, BCYC
3. 3506 Patrick & Jilly/Anna Blake, Cookham Reach
4. 3546 Will Rainey & Liese Ward, Cookham Reach
5. 3547 Mark Barnes & Jane Beaumont, Whitstable
6. 3553 Graham & Ben Scroggie, Parkstone
7. 3504 Steve & Ally Tyler, Parkstone
8. 3362 Simon Crowther & Kate Jarratt, Parkstone
9. 3378 Peter Biggs & Phil, Parkstone


1st. 3505, Peter Scott & Stuart Hydon, Shustoke
2nd. 3491, Andy Bownes & Chris Bownes, Shustoke
3rd. 3404, Steve Leney & Gill Leney, Shustoke
4th. 2681, Richard Dee & Paul Holmes, Midland - Old Boats Prize
5th. 3375, Mike Anslow & John Holmes, Midland
6th. 3179, Peter Rainey & Ian Merryfield, Blithfield
7th. 3211, Paul Hollis & Sarah Duval, Ragley
8th. 3095, Roger Kent & John Shorthouse, Sutton
9th. 3405, Toby Watson & Steve Watson, Midland - Best Improver
10th. 3333, James Davies & Cupcakes, Ragley


This seasons opening Silver Tiller meeting at Shustoke on March 14th saw 39 boats enjoy a sunny day with a force 2 -3 making for excellent racing. PRO Alan Skitt set a different course for each race giving plenty of variety to all the competitors.

The previous day had seen the prestigous two race Invitation Open won narrowly by Richard Whitworth and Sally Townend for which first prize was the multi purpose Top Banana award. The crews of the 17 boats sailing together with 50+ club members enjoyed an evening of rock 'n' roll, fish 'n' chips and copious quantities of ale. Young Whitworth so overcome with emotion declined all offers of a comfortable bed and slept in the Hotel Vauxhall in the car park!

Race one saw Peter Scott and Stuart Hydon from the home club put to rest the myth that Canterbury Tales won't carry weight by taking their 26.5 stone into an early lead and were only overhauled in the later stages by Whitworth and Mike Calvert with Boris and young Stewart fourth Calvert suggested a course change to the OD for the next race with more broad and running legs and guess who won -- er oh yes Mike Clavert crewed by Jennie King with Dan Alsop & new import Robbie Sampson second and Davo and Marjorie Scott third.

All set for a final race tussle - in fact Whitworth sailed into a commanding lead (no banana skins this race) with Calvert eventually overhauling Dan Alsop to establish the overall top three.

Ian Garwood crewing for Duncan Salmon suffered a very painful and prolonged nosebleed which ruled out the afternoon sailing for them - speedy recovery Ian.

Everyone went home tired, happy and satisfied after a great weekends sailing - if the rest of the season is like this there will be no complaints.

1st. 3512, Richard Whitworth & Sally Townend, Hollingworth
2nd. 3549, Mike Calver & Jennie King, Weymouth
3rd. 3471, Dan Aslop & Robbie Sampson, BCYC
4th. 3513, Boris & Stewart, Hollingworth
5th. 3546, Will Rainey & Liese Ward, Cookham Reach
6th. 3505, Peter Scott & Stuart Hydon, Shustoke


After a period of foul weather covering rain, floods, gales and snow the day dawned with a light south westerley to welcome competitiors for the Club Trophy and the first nominated sail of the new River Thames Club Series.

The event was supported by 21 boats from Ranelagh, Hampton, Tamesis, Cookham, Wembley and British Airways.
The beating start was taken by Tony Johnson (3550) with Mark Candelas (3545), Duncan Salmon (3518), AndyJones (3411) and Hywell Perkins (3347) in close contention to the Hammersmith mark. The return leg to Putney in a wind variable in strength and direction against the flood tide was a test of concentration.

On the second lap the first three boats reversed order with Duncan Salmon into the lead, Mark Candelas second and Tony Johnson third - positons they held to the finish. Further back Joe McLaughlan (3101) came through from seventh to fourth, Chris Edwards (2063) fifth, Andrew Harris (3292) sixth and Hywell Perkins seventh.

A really fine start to the new Thames Series.


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